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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Specialty Grain: How should I steep?
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default Specialty Grain: How should I steep?

So I've used specialty grains before, and I brought the temp up to about 155 and let my crystal malt steep for 20 minutes. From there I continued with the recipe as usual.

One thing I have read that may make things easier: Just throw the grains in the pot as it comes up to a boil and remove before it hits 200 degrees.

Is this a valid method for steeping specialty grains for an extract brew? Or should I not risk it and do it the long way of bringing to temp, holding, and then going to boil from there?

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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As long as you're just steeping your grains (ie just using specialty grains) and not mashing temp really shouldn't play a huge role. In theory, you could could steep your grains and achieve the same results it would just take you longer so you would want to steep them longer. That said, you really should try to keep the temp below 170 degrees to avoid tannin extraction.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:41 AM   #3
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You should do it in two different processes. ThE enzymes that convert the carbs in the malt to sugars do it best in specific temperature ranges. Outside of them you get poor extraction rates and if too high release tannins that add a certain astringency to your beer. Of course it may not be nearly as noticeable with a partial mash, but I always considered good practice to be good practice. You have alpha and beta amylase. They both add different characteristics to your wort, from fermentability to body. Most people that I have seen recommend temperatures between 148-160. Most commonly Ime 153-155. (lower temperatures will result in a more fermentable wort, higher, fuller body, once again though I would think it to be as much of a concern in partials)

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhokie View Post
You should do it in two different processes. ThE enzymes that convert the carbs in the malt to sugars do it best in specific temperature ranges. Outside of them you get poor extraction rates and if too high release tannins that add a certain astringency to your beer. Of course it may not be nearly as noticeable with a partial mash, but I always considered good practice to be good practice. You have alpha and beta amylase. They both add different characteristics to your wort, from fermentability to body. Most people that I have seen recommend temperatures between 148-160. Most commonly Ime 153-155. (lower temperatures will result in a more fermentable wort, higher, fuller body, once again though I would think it to be as much of a concern in partials)
By the way that the OP presented the question it doesn't seem like he's trying to mash anything.

Care to clarify Getz?
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fid View Post
By the way that the OP presented the question it doesn't seem like he's trying to mash anything.

Care to clarify Getz?
A steep on specialty grains is a mini mash. You just have the extra t for your base and use a steep on specialties in order to get the desired adjunct flavor profiles from the specialty malts, whether caramel, nutty, coffee chocolate or just extra body. The same principles apply with temperatures related to your grains, enzymE activity, tannin extraction, it just wouldn't be as cOncerning as the specialties are a very small amount of your gristbill, at least as far as my understanding has lEd me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:15 AM   #6
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Put the steeping grain in when you turn on the flame, take them out when it hits 160f and let the liquid drain out. Do NOT squeeze the grain bag as this will add tannins that will not be very nice.

done,

your not mini mashing so you dont need to convert and starches to sugars.

Relax, dont worry about doing things exactly as if handed down from above. as long as your sanitation is up to scratch you will make beer.

(sorry about gramma, spelling, puntuation and anything else, as this iPad autocorrect blows and i am in a rucs)

have fun!

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Old 04-27-2012, 06:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Karmawar View Post
Put the steeping grain in when you turn on the flame, take them out when it hits 160f and let the liquid drain out. Do NOT squeeze the grain bag as this will add tannins that will not be very nice.

done,

your not mini mashing so you dont need to convert and starches to sugars.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dbhokie View Post
A steep on specialty grains is a mini mash.
Steeping and mashing are not the same thing.

From Palmer's How to Brew:
"Steeping differs from mashing in that there is no enzyme activity taking place to convert grain or adjunct starches to sugars. Steeping specialty grains is entirely a leaching and dissolution process of sugars into the wort. "

Basically, at the end of the day, steeping is just letting something sit in water... IE the way that you steep a cup of tea.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #9
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I am sorry, it was my mistake. Specialty malts have no enzymes so no or little diastatic power.

Post too late and don't read enough on my cell. To be honest I used the term mini-mash because it seems to me like a mini-mash. If you "steeped" any base grains with the specialty malts then you would end up converting sugars from them, because the enzymes would be present in the base grains. Which I suppose you could do in extract as well, and at that point it would be called a mini-mash. I kinda skipped the extract part when I started brewing and went to all grain.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great feedback guys.

To clarify: I'm definitely not trying for a Partial Mash at this stage, the extract brewing process is so stress free and enjoyable. Just interested in the steeping process (which, not to be an A*hole, but I named this topic "How should I steep?" for that reason.. Putting them in and pulling before a certain temp will certainly cut some time and the minimal headache down.

Just to inquire a little further: should I make sure they steep for a certain amount of time? To much info between different sources. "Don't steep for less than 20 minutes" "Steep to long and it will extract nasty flavors" "Care about the temperature" "Temperature is only a guideline" "Eat eggs, don't eat eggs"



Thanks again

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